Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2019

Gaurav Suryawanshi | Mathematics

Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Research Area: Determination of perfectly random sans-equivalence class RSA mapping for Multi agent reinforcement l

Duration: 2.5 Months

From where you did Foreign Training?
Ans: I have done my FT in the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

How was your experience?
Ans: Really really good. CMU has a really good infrastructure, excellent labs and tons of funding. There is a sharp contrast between CMU and IIT is that they care for students, especially they have lounge called Robolounge in which they have free food, gaming Room, barbeque, free Pool table etc.

Do you think foreign training is important?
Ans: For 5 years students, he should go for FT at least one, that helps a lot to change the mindset. That broadens your thinking a lot as we experience things which we otherwise wouldn't have in India. It allows us to have a perspective of what why is USA one of the richest economies in the modern world.

How did you apply for FT? What difficulties did you face?
Ans: My application based upon direct email. Luckily I got accepted in very 2nd mail. The prof conducted a small interview after which I got selected.

How did you manage your finances?
Ans: Usually, many profs pay you money according to the amount of funding they have for international interns. My prof gave a portion of the total amount, the rest was covered by my inspire scholarship. I was also eligible for mentorship reimbursement which helped me further

How was your Stay in the City?
Ans: Pittsburgh is tier 2 city, neither big nor really small. It was a pleasant stay. Nice charming weather, but had it winters, it would be substantially different when the temperature goes beyond -20-degree cent.

Do you think there is any role of CG for getting FT?
Ans: I don’t think so. There was no part of CG in the complete process. Prof even didn’t ask me my CGPA. He was only concerned about what my knowledge is and how am I gonna apply it.

How was the host university in terms of research and campus life?
Ans: CMU is really good at student services. It gives you ample opportunity to have the right frame of your mind. They have very good escort services. If you are working late, they will drop you at your home. One of the best things was also the discussions, the level of discussions was immense and a lot of scientific, they cared for your opinion however invaluable or stupid. My prof gave me the freedom to do my stuff in my own way and is good as long as the work is being done efficiently. He also mentored me and correct my course whenever he felt I was going the wrong way.

What were some things that impressed you there and you think needs to be implemented here at KGP as well?
Ans: I feel that there should be a healthy Student-Professor relationship. Being Dept-Representative myself, I feel there is a huge communication gap between Students and Professors which should be looked upon immediately. Also, we should have more student services than what we have now and there should be immense stress onto improving work culture at the Campus and Academic buildings such as the library.

What would you suggest to fellow KGPians?
Ans: Believe in yourself. If you’re trying for a FT, have confidence on it. You will definitely get the FT! Don’t see FT as some kind of achievement or a thing for tourism. It’s a golden opportunity to apply what you know, to enhance your knowledge, to have valuable experience. You should not demotivated by a few negative emails and downplay your confidence or start Random Mailing. Focus on what good knowledge you have and you’ll surely have what you need.